aeontimeline

Open full view…

When book is not written chronologically.

rafesteinberg
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 01:17:00 GMT

I'm writing a complex novel that goes back and forth in time, according to the POV of the person describing the scene. But I need to keep an accurate actual chronological timeline to avoid error. Can Aeon help me do this? Much of the book has already been written in Scrivener, but the timeline is getting complicated.

aeonjess
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 01:25:53 GMT

Hi, Yes, Aeon Timeline should be able to help you with this. It is a timeline that displays events in chronological order, therefore you would be able to view the events of your novel in chronological order (as opposed to pov order). You can sync documents in Scrivener to events in Aeon Timeline. You can read more about this here: https://www.aeontimeline.com/support/scrivener-syncing/ . So when you are writing your novel you will be able to see in Aeon Timeline where that part of the novel is located in the chronological timeline. Jess

rafesteinberg
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 03:52:54 GMT

Hi Jess, Thannks for that encouragement. I have two related questions. 1. I have many scenes in which several POV characters participate and ofwhich other characters are aware even though not directly involved. Will Aeon allow those events to show up in each characters timeline? And for each character to show up when looking at that event? 2. In syncing with Scrivener will I have to manually connect every written scene and relevaant backstory event to the timeline? Or is there some way for Aeon to do it at least semi-automatically? Most scenes are alread labled with date and place, as in a newspaper dateline. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Rafe

aeonjess
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 04:37:30 GMT

Hi Rafe, In regards to your first question, Aeon Timeline allows you to assign characters to each event, and also allows you to give more detail such as whether they were a participant or observer to the event. Aeon Timeline allows you to group events by character and also filter events by character, so by assigning characters to events you can view a characters timeline. Aeon Timeline also has a relationship view which you can read about here: http://www.aeontimeline.com/support/relationship-view/ This is a view separate from the chronological timeline view where you can view at a glance what events are associated with which characters. In regards to your second question, syncing with Scrivener uses its custom metadata fields. If you have the date in a custom metadata field in your Scrivener document, then when you sync with Aeon Timeline it can create an event at that date. You can also sync other information like Characters, Location etc. if these also exist in the custom metadata fields. We have a video/walkthrough on syncing on our Videos page here: https://www. aeontimeline.com/videos/ which might be helpful. You can also download a 20-day free trial of the program from our download page here: https://www.aeontimeline.com/download/ This might help you work out if the program is what you are looking for, and there are some example timelines in the program aswell that might help. Jess

rafesteinberg
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:40:13 GMT

Hi Jess, Thanks again for your help. I think the deal-breaker for me involves my second question. the syncing process. I currently have nearly 200 scenes/events in my Scrivener project. Most are fully written drafts of chapters or chapter section. About a third of them are just plot notes indicating where and when someting happens to whom. A few are just notes inidicating what happened, without any POV or date yet assgined to it. And there will be more as I finish this thing. As I understand it from what you've said, to sync this project to Aeon I will have to go into the custom meta data of each document, create a field for characters and list the characters in or related to the scene, create another field for date or time and enter the data for that. Would have to do that for all the existing scenes and for any future ones, and then also make sure to update the meta data fields each time I made a change. My sense is that this would take an inordinate amount of time away from writing. (Perhaps something to do on writer's block days. <g>) I wonder, however, whether it might be useful for me to create a timeline for the project and NOT sync it with Scrivener.. It would then be just an independent chronology of the events of the story to which I could refer as to a research source. It seems that would take less time to set up. Has anyone tried that? TIA Rafe

aeonjess
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 23:39:26 GMT

Hi Rafe, You can go through each document and change its metadata (adding dates, characters etc), however the syncing process allows you to do this on the Aeon Timeline side aswell. For example, if you set up an independent timeline for the project to use as a research source like you suggested (which is how many people use Aeon Timeline), later on you can still sync the events with documents in Scrivener, and this syncing process will add the custom metadata fields to your Scrivener documents automatically. Every time you need to make a change, you can either change the custom metadata fields in Scrivener, or change the data on Aeon Timeline - if you update one, the syncing process updates the other. As I said earlier, you can also just create an independent timeline which doesn't sync with Scrivener and use it as a reference source, I believe there are users who do use it this way. Jess

razyr
Wed, 27 Sep 2017 01:00:33 GMT

Hi, Rafe. There is a middle ground. You can be very selective about what data/fields you sync. It's also worth noting that you don't have to sync everything up front. You could, for example, start by just synching document names with events. This would at least save you some data entry and allow you to change the title of a scene without having to do double data entry. I would encourage you to consider adding at least a start date field to your Scrivener metadata. Having done this a few times I can guarantee that it's faster to add the dates on the Scrivener side before you do any synching. If not, you'll end up with 200 events all with the same start date and zero duration. While you're inputting those start dates, it only takes an extra second to include the event duration. I found that synching people and places automatically was counterproductive - at least it is for me. Once you start synching custom metadata for what AT2 calls "entities", the sync process tries to get smart and create any new character or place names automatically. What I found wa s that I was getting a lot of duplicate entries because "George W. Hedge", "George W Hedge", "George Hedge" and "george hedge" are all seen as different characters by the sync process. Ditto for "Main Street", "Main St." and "Main St". I'm too inconsistent and wound up just polluting my entity space in AT2 through hasty/sloppy metadata entry in Scrivener. The time spent doing ongoing cleanup outweighed the benefit of auto-creating, which for most stories is, a reasonably low finite number of characters and locations. Before you run off to check, no, Scrivener auto-complete does not work in metadata field input boxes. Good luck with your project. Any time you hit a snag with AT2, post here in the forum. There are many helpful users in addition to the Aeon support staff.

rafesteinberg
Wed, 27 Sep 2017 02:05:35 GMT

Thank you Jess and razyr, I' going to give it a shot, and will save this thread as a life preserver. I figure that if I get it to working right AT2 could save me many hours and headaches as I weave together the fragments and chapters that were written more or less independently. And if it doesn't fit my project it will only cost me a few wasted days. Again, many thanks. Rafe